Months after former British editor-at-large at Dubai's leading English daily confessed to killing his wife unintentionally, Francis Matthew has pleaded not guilty after appearing in a Dubai courtroom on Wednesday.
The 61-year-old appeared in court with short hair and had lost a notable amount of weight since he was first detained, as reported by AP.
"I'm not guilty," Matthew told judge Erfan Omar Atteyah, according to The National.
The Dubai Public Prosecution said it will seek the death penalty. Matthew's lawyer Ali al-Shamsi said he aims to reduce the 61-year-old's sentence to a minimum, according to AP.
"There is a mistake in the autopsy report," Shamsi said.
Shamsi asked the court to postpone the case to prepare his defense. The next hearing is set to take place in October before Criminal Court judge Irfan Omar.
"We will need time to analyze the testimonies of witnesses so we can face them with our questions, we may seek the help of forensic experts from outside regarding the autopsy of the deceased," Shamsi said.
In July, police were contacted by Matthew, who initially said thieves had attacked his wife, Jane Matthew.
Matthew later confessed to throwing a hammer at the victim, killing her unintentionally.
"During the prosecution's investigation, the defendant admitted to assaulting his wife, and throwing a hammer at her, saying he never meant to kill her," Dubai Police said in a statement, according to The National.
Matthew was charged with murder days after. However, investigations into the case continued.
"Closer examination revealed that the wife, also a British national, died due to a strong blow to the head ... revealing the possible involvement of the husband in the crime," the police said.
"The accused confessed to committing the crime in the presence of police officers. He was accordingly referred to court and assigned an accredited legal translator."
Matthew has been working as a journalist in the Gulf since the 1980s. He was formerly the editor of Gulf News from 1995 to 2005.
After stepping down as editor, he continued to write regularly for the paper, including a weekly column. He was also a regular commentator on Gulf TV channels.